Open Book event: Upcoming event + Open Calls

The Youth SIG, in collaboration with YCIG and Youth4IG, will host an online encounter: The Open Book event. The Open Book event is an informal conference where young experts in Internet Governance (so-called ‘Open Books) will discuss with attendees on experiences and points on view related to the 6 topics:

Data: We will talk about the best approaches to ensure the development of human-centric data governance frameworks at national, regional, and international levels

Trust: Relates to the security, stability, and resilience of the infrastructure, systems, and devices, and also to the need for people to be safe and secure. These are both vital elements for enabling a healthy and empowering digital environment, beneficial to all.

Inclusion: is about ensuring those with limited or no access to the Internet, such as the unserved and underserved communities, as well as those for which the internet is not accessible due to gender, disability, digital literacy, affordability, or for any other reason, are now included and have equal opportunity to be meaningfully connected to the internet.

Environment: Entails on one hand to understand the interdependences between the use of the Internet and digital technologies to preserve the environment, but also to threaten its sustainability. It will consider how the positive impacts of ICTs for climate action can be enhanced while minimizing any negative impact.

-Community Networks: As part of one of the Internet Society Projects for 2020, youth consider relevant Creating Networks for one of the topics under discussion at the Open Book. Why? Closing the digital divide is critical and community networks offer a solution. These are “do it yourself” networks built by people for people.

Encryption: Encryption is not only another Internet Society Project, but also a great topic of interest among the Youth SIG community, You wonder, why it is important Encryption? In a few words, is key to secure online communications for everything, from financial transactions to healthcare. It is a foundational component upon which a trustworthy Internet is built.


Why these topics?

We chose these topics taking into account the 4 thematic areas of the IGF2020 and two Internet Society’s Projects: Community Networks and Encryption. Youth is highly involved in these topics, not only for their work or volunteer experiences but also on a personal level.


Why an Open Book?

The concept of Open Book is a refreshment in the middle of too many webinars and conferences: we are addressing the important issues for this year in Internet Governance in an informal manner, following the format of ‘Birds of Feather’ and pushing into coffee conversation among peers: a speaker (‘Open Book’) talking to people about a topic closer to them. It is the first international event organized by youth in two rounds, having a top-notch selection of 12 speakers in order to include participants from around the world. It will have 2 rounds:

First round: 9 am UTC to 12pm UTC

Second round: 13pm to 15pm UTC


How can I participate?

You have two ways: first, there are two open calls:

a. To apply as speaker (Open Book)

b. Volunteer for the moderator or rapporteur role. We would need several people for the tasks and at the two rounds. Apply here!

The registration will open in the upcoming days, please stay tuned here: https://ti.to/youth-sig/open-book

Youth Observatory report on the YouthLACIGF 2020

Youth Observatory report on the YouthLACIGF 2020

YouthLACIGF is an annual initiative that began in 2016 from the growing community of young people in Latin America and the Caribbean interested in being part of the dialogues that take place for the development of the Internet.

Youth SIG is part of the Global Citizens’ Dialogue in Argentina

The Youth SIG (also known as Youth Observatory) is participating at the Global Stakeholders’ Dialogue as a National Strategic Partner for Argentina for the We The Internet. This initiative is launched by Missions Publiques, a high impact social entrepeneur founded in 1998 and localy boosted by our Regional Engagement Director for Latin America and the Caribbean region Eileen Cejas in Argentina.

We, The Internet is a two phases global event: first, there was the Global Stakeholders’ Dialogue in June 2020, and the second phase is composed by the Global Citizens’ Dialogue, happening in October 2020.

Global Stakeholders Dialogue

At the Global Stakeholders’ Dialogue, stakeholders from around the world participated in the deliberation regarding the three model of arquitecture of digital cooperation, which were picked by the High Level Panel in Digital Cooperation of the UN to be discussed by the global stakeholders. The second phase is composed by the Global Citizens’ Dialogue, happening in October 2020.

Photo updated by Paola Gálvez from Twitter: “#WetheInternet stakeholders’ dialogue last session has started to discuss about #digitalcooperation Glad to be here!!”

After the Global Stakeholders’ Dialogue, the gathered recommendations made by the attendees of the event were compiled into a report, which was shared as one of the recommendations collected by the German government as part of the High Level Panel follow-up process. Moreover, the results of the event are part of the process for the Roadmap of Digital Cooperation issued by the UN Secretary General’s office.

Some of the recommendations collected at the Global Stakeholders’ Dialogue were:

1. A shift is required towards a hybrid architecture for the future of Digital Cooperation.
2. Providing the right resources in a fair way is key to impactful Digital Cooperation.
3. Improving effective inclusion must be at the heart of governance reform.
4. Greater coordination and cooperation is required between stakeholders and the different bodies.
5. Transparency and guidance are essential in navigating the complex system.
6. Trust must be established with transparent, fair coordination and effective, stable leadership.
7. The IGF+ needs to move from a discussion forum to a decision-making body.


Upcoming Global Citizens’ Dialogue

On October 10th and 11st of 2020, the Youth SIG in Argentina will host the local version of the Global Citizens’ Dialogue, where inhabits from all around Argentina will discuss these thematic areas:

-Internet and me

-Digital Identity

-Digital Public Sphere

-Artificial Intelligence

-Data Privacy

In order to introduce attendees into these themaric areas, the We The Internet Argentina team will facilitate an online introductory webinar (‘Conversatorio virtual’) on August 17. More details on registration are available here (only available for Argentina).

If you are from Argentina, you can check the We The Internet Argentina website for further details : www.wetheinternet.com.ar.


Other countries and organizations participating of this initiative:

Youth IGF Past Fellows

Youth IGF Past Fellows

IGF has always been the center of attraction amongst all the Internet Governance enthusiasts. We published a call on the blog asking the past fellows to share a photo of themselves as a Youth Fellow/Ambassador

YCIG at EuroDIG2020: Youth perspectives on the way forward in IG

Written by Mili Semlani and Meri Baghdasaryan (YCIG Steering Committee). This article was originally posted at YCIG’s website. You can find the original post here.

The youth DC session–Youth Coalition on Internet Governance enabled its Dynamic Coalition members and partners to express and exchange views on the current state of affairs in the field of youth participation in the Internet Governance ecosystem at the pre event session hosted at EuroDIG 2020. 

The session explored some of the European initiatives that have been launched to enhance youth participation in internet governance after Youth IGF Summit held in Berlin in 2019. And it was aimed at creating synergies and finding common topics among regional youth movements and initiatives to conduct capacity enhancement projects and much more.

Developments after Youth IGF Summit 2019 

Carrying forward from the YCIG session at IGF in 2019, Elisabeth Schauermann, YouthDIG/ Youth IGF Summit 2019 reflected on the first ever Youth IGF Summit at Berlin in 2019 that was supported by last year’s IGF country host Germany. As a pre event to IGF 2019, it was an effective platform where youth from all over the world came together to share their messages.

While it was successful, the efforts did not just stop there. Youth participation should anchor all public policy and for this it is important to enable youth with necessary support and resources to participate in internet governance and policy making.

Further, Nika Bakhsoliani, Member of Advisory council on youth, Council of Europe and member of COVID-19 task force of the joint council, highlighted the importance of understanding the concept of meaningful youth participation, which entails that the youth has the necessary means, opportunities and space to participate in and influence decision making processes. Speaking of the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, Nika mentioned that the ongoing issues have been exacerbated, particularly affecting the marginalized youth and youth organisations. 

National Youth IGF movements

Veronica Birindelli, Youth IGF Italy and Joao Pedro Martins, Lusophone Youth IGF, Portugal; spoke about how to start Youth IGFs in their respective countries. While Portugal worked with other Portuguese speaking countries to reach out to a larger crowd, Italy worked with grassroots organisations and went from a 3-people team to a larger community. 

In addition to bringing in computer science students and tech enthusiasts, yIGF organisers also felt the need to speak to young people about the other issues like online safety, etc. that affect everyone in their own way. 

They also suggested that greater synergies amongst youth IGF initiatives across the world will be helpful so they can share content, topics, support etc. Being listed as an official youth initiative on IGF’s website is also helpful in gaining credibility. 

Being a part of youth IGFs enables youth to better engage at IGF main events. It also facilitates collaboration and building independent youth communities also facilitates adding real messages to the global debate.

The way forward

Noha Ashraf, YCIG steering committee member, presented the YCIG questionnaire which saw a greater need for not only tech related topics but also cross cutting ones like interaction of human rights with technology. 

Elnur Karimov,  EEG Regional Engagement Director for Youth Observatory shared his views on Youth Observatory’s (Youth SIG) growing global presence. In 2019, Youth Observatory (YouthSIG) had projects like Creative Networks which was a project competition where the winners attended IGF 2019 and Youth Atlas which highlighted engaged youth in IG from all over the world. Elnur also pointed out current engagement activities for Youth Observatory members like the Regional Activities.

In short,  it goes without saying that youth has a lot to offer to the Internet Governance ecosystem, from organising the first ever global Youth IGF Summit and  initiating national youth IGF movements to bringing the youth perspective and coming up with solutions to such unprecedented issues such as COVID-19 pandemic, together with different stakeholders. 

With COVID-19 pandemic still underway, the community strives to continue working towards enhancement of youth participation in the Internet Governance ecosystem, advance the capacity building programs and initiatives and bring the youth voice to the global discussions and processes. 

Therefore, in order to create synergies between various youth movements all over the globe, we need to define the common goals for these youth initiatives/movements and deliberate upon which formats, tools and frameworks can be applied for reaching these goals. Share with us your opinion in the comments. 

You may access the recording of the full YCIG session here

Written by Mili Semlani and Meri Baghdasaryan (YCIG Steering Committee). This article was originally posted at YCIG’s website. You can find the original post here.

For a Diverse Internet – Segur@s en Internet & WeAre

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EAPdwgBXoAA9-Fh.jpg

As part of the Creating Networks project competition, which aimed to promote the participation and implementation of projects about Internet Governance, Human Rights and Inclusion led by the Youth, the three of us got selected to go and participate at the Youth Internet Governance Forum (YouthIGF2019) and Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2019) taking place in Berlín, Germany, from November 25th to the 29th of 2019 as Youth Observatory Fellows.

The Youth Observatory gave us the unique opportunity for weeks of learning through webinars and being able to live cybernetically with colleagues from different countries to finally choose our partners and build the project that led us to one of the best experiences of our lives.

The projects we presented at the competition were “Segur@s en Internet” and “WeAre”, which aimed to promote the participation of women and LGBTQI+ youth in the conversations regarding Internet Governance. In both projects, we worked with women and LGBTQI+ organizations and community members in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia and we gave online and offline workshops about Internet Governance, Human Rights, Advocacy, and Digital Inclusion. Through the activities that took place, we aimed to tackle the issue related to the lack of diversity and representation in the discussion regarding Internet Governance spaces and to create a space for sharing about the issues that our communities face in Latin America, such as online violence and hate speech, freedom speech and situations in which are some spaces where they cannot express themselves freely on the internet. Unfortunately, this situation happens not only in Latin America and the Caribbean but also in places like Africa and the Middle East. We believe that a way to mitigate the impact of these instances if they continue to happen is to give them tools to know their digital rights and how to join the wave of action that is asking to have an Internet ecosystem that includes everyone.

We started our journey in Berlin having our projects and activities in mind. We noticed the considerable effort and value in making such an event and the incredible opportunities to meet others who are also passionate about keeping the health of the Internet ecosystem. However, we also noticed that in the many topics for discussion that were presented, not many reflections nor opinions tackled the issue of access, use, and inclusion of women and the LGBT+ community, especially opinions for these specifics population outside of the Global North, because most of the topics and policies that were discussed tend to focus their information from places like Europe and North America. There were few spaces for Latin American, Asian Pacific, and African perspectives, selected only after most of the main topics were determined. The sessions that did talk about these central perspectives were put as side sessions instead of main ones, which doesn’t help the multistakeholder view that Internet Governance is aiming to achieve.  

We decided to prepare and attend the Open Mic session at the forum, in order to draw the attention to the Internet policymakers and the lawmakers in our region, so they would make a joint collaboration with the Civil society and the private sector to provide the skills and legal framework to allow women and LGBTQI+ community to freely express themselves regardless their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

We also mentioned the lack of representation in the high-level panels regarding trans people. We could verify this by meeting a trans woman, who had been invited to the event. She said she felt that her invitation was due more to filling a gender parity quota rather than an intention to change the event’s participation policies. 

We expressed loud and clear that gender implies not only women and girls, but also LGBTQI+ communities. Therefore, we helped to foster that in the upcoming IGFs this is taken into account, so the promise of an Internet for everyone will truly be real, where no one is left behind outside of the picture, and where we could truly comply with the message of One Internet, One Net, and One Vision.

Belén Giménez (Paraguay) Segur@s en Internet Project

Abdías Zambrano (Panamá) Segur@s en Internet Project

Juan Pájaro (Colombia) Project WeAre

Youth Observatory participated in EuroDIG2020

Youth Observatory (Youth SIG) was invited by the Youth Coalition on Internet Governance to participate in the session Youth Coalition on Internet Governance: Creating synergies and the Way Forward”. This session was part of the Day 0 program at EuroDIG2020.

EuroDIG is the pan- European dialogue of Internet Governance, where participants from countries of all Europe gather to discuss issues of the region. This year, the online event chose the overarching theme “Towards a sustainable governance of the Internet” to discuss the focus areas: a) Cooperation, legislation, standardisation; b)Leverage connecting the unconnected; c)Data governance and data security; d)Media issues (ongoing); e) all matter DNS.

On this session, our Regional Engagement Director for Eastern European Group Elnur Karimov introduced the audience to Youth Observatorys initiatives we have done in the last years, including Youth Atlas, Creating Networks and the session proposals we worked within the IGF Working Groups for the IGF2020.

Elnur said “more youth participation means better Internet Governance” while highlighting the achieved projects by the Youth Observatory and our enthusiasm for the future involved in IG.

Our Regional Engagement Director for EEG also mentioned what we have done in the last months, including submitting sessions proposals to the IGF2020 and the launch at Regional Activities, which have the goal to feature young individuals from our community to share their thoughts on relevant topics for youth.

We will soon share news on our social media, stay tuned!

We want to thank Youth Coalition on Internet Governance for the invitation-

Participate in Regional Activities!

Youth Observatory, as Special Interest Group of Internet Society focused on Youth, has prepared a series of community outreach activities to engage young people in capacity building.

We believe in these times of pandemic, we should foster a closer relationship with our members, giving a space to share with the community about their leadership experiences and share their insights on an area of their interest.

The Community Outreach will include:

LEADERSHIP EXCHANGE: Informal gatherings on Zoom platform to share experiences on leadership. In this space, we can meet to know more about our members and learn on their leadership experiences.

YOUTH AT FOCUS: Live session at Instagram to talk about an area of their expertise. Instagram is a great platform to have a 1-1 discussion, when everyone can leave a comment to our featured young speaker.


If you are a Youth Observatory member and you want to apply, kindly fill this form. Regional Engagement Directors will reach you for the next steps.



List of Regional Engagement Directors:

African Group- Joshua Joshua

Asia Pacific Group- Mohammad Atif Aleem

Europe- Elnur Karimov

Latin America and the Caribbean- Eileen Cejas

Western Europe Group and Others- Ana Jovanovic

YouthLACIGF 2020 on the way!

The Organising Committee of the YouthLACIGF is preparing great activities for the YouthLACIGF 2020. This year the event will be entirely online on August 1-2. Chilean Time Zone.

The online event will address these 4 thematic areas:

Online education and access to the internet. Digital Literacy matters!

Misinformation, problems with social media

COVID 19 related to privacy and cybersecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean region

Online democracies: a new model of democracies after the pandemic?

If you are a young resident of the Latin America and the Caribbean region, you can submit your application by filling this form. Applications in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese are accepted.

Read more information on formats, deadlines and speakers at the website.


In adittion, the Organising Committee has prepared an Open Course with the support of Internet Society. Taking into account the situation of COVID-19 in the region, we considered to provide this capacity building tool as preparation for the YouthLACIGF and LACIGF online meetings. We will have webinars with experts of the Latin American and the Caribbean region on selected topics relevants for the region.

You can enroll in the course here. Deadline to enroll: May 14, 2020, 11h59pm UTC

Youth Observatory Webinar on COVID-19

Youth Observatory has prepared a webinar on COVID-19, with the purpose of joining efforts to fight COVID-19 with Dr. Abhishek Royal.

Dr. Royal is a medical doctor and a public health professional with experience of working with various vulnerable and marginalized population and public health emergencies in India. He is currently pursuing Master’s in Public Health in Implementation Research from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. He has received full scholarship from World Health Organization – Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases to pursue this international master’s program.

Dr. Abhishek Royal will talk to us on April 15th on the Community perspective on the pandemic and the effects of lockdown on Mental health.

Moderator: Mohammad Atif Aleem (Regional Engagement Director- Asia Pacific Region).

Sign up before April 13 at 12 pm UTC here: https://bit.ly/YouthObsAgainstCovid

The webinar on COVID-19 will take place on April 15 at 14pm UTC. Few spots available!


Watch the recording of the webinar below:

Youth Observatory Webinar on COVID-19

Youth Observatory Webinar on COVID-19. Dr. Abhishek Royal (MBBS, MPH Scholar | Implementation Research) will cover 1) Community perspective on pandemic; 2) Effects of lockdown and infodermic on mental health.

Posted by Youth Observatory on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

As part of Youth Obs Challenge, we are also proposing our community to take a short course on COVID-19 (enroll here) and share your certificate, tagging @YouthObs on social media and using the proposed hashtags #onlineandinformed #youthobsonline #InternetUnited #unitedagainstCovid19 #youthuniteagainstcovid.